Boise Dentists Blog

At Summit Dental, we love sharing our everyday life. Sometimes we'll post about tips on brushing your teeth or about how much we love our new office. Check back often to see what the latest is at our Boise Dentist Office.

Desensitizing Agent Used Before In Office Bleaching

The article written in October 2009 concluded that using a desensitizing gel before in office bleaching with a strong bleaching agent did reduce patient tooth sensitivity while not reducing the effect of the whitening procedure.  Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect associated with teeth whitening/ in-office bleaching.  This is good news for people concerned about this possible side effect and would like to have pearly white teeth!


FDA Classification of Teeth Whitening Agent

Rockville, Md.—The ADA has petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to review and classify chemically-based tooth whitening agents.

Concerned that the application of unregulated dental products administered by unlicensed technicians or nonprofessionals may be harmful to consumers, the Association urged the FDA to “establish an appropriate regulatory classification for tooth whitening preparations that act by chemical means” to lighten tooth color.

The ADA detailed its concerns in a Nov. 20 letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., from ADA President Ronald L. Tankersley and ADA Executive Director Kathleen T. O’Loughlin.

The action was prompted by the prevalence of whitening in nondental settings such as malls, kiosks, salons and cruise ships, which offer the services.

In the letter, Drs. Tankersley and O’Loughlin called this “troubling since consumers have little or no assurance regarding product safety or the professional qualifications of individuals employed in these nondental settings.

“Consequently, the ADA has legitimate concerns about the safe use of tooth whitening products without the benefit of professional consultation or examination,” they noted.

In 2008, the increase in teeth-whitening businesses encouraged the ADA House of Delegates to call for the Association to petition the FDA to properly classify tooth whitening and bleaching agents. Resolution 73H-2008 also urged the ADA to support educating the public on the importance of consulting a licensed dentist to determine if whitening/bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.

In addition, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs compiled scientific research to describe treatment considerations for dentists before performing these procedures in order to reduce the incidence of adverse outcomes and report these findings to all state dental associations.

Res. 73H-2008 also called for constituent societies, through legislative or regulatory efforts, to support the proposition that administering or applying any intra-oral chemical for the sole purpose of whitening/bleaching of the teeth by whatever technique, except for the lawfully permitted self-application and application by a parent and/or guardian, constitutes the practice of dentistry, and any nondentist engaging in such activity is committing the unlicensed practice of dentistry.

More information is available in the ADA press release, posted online at


Understanding Your Dental Insurance with Advice From Boise Dentists

As the end of the year approaches, it is important to understand your dental insurance benefits. Each individual plan is very different and taking the time to read your policy will help you maximize the benefits you are entitled to. Many plans have annual maximums that renew at the beginning of the new year, and any benefit that remains generally does not carry over. Also, if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage, calling the provider’s customer service number can be a good way to have some of them answered. If you have any other questions please let us know next time you are in, and we will do our best to help you get them answered.


State Farm Health Fair Features Local Boise Dentists

Last week we had the privilege of attending the first annual State Farm Health Fair. The event was a success and had a great turnout of people interested in improving their health. The event was put on for the employees and had different health care professionals and vendors interested in overall health speaking about their respective areas of expertise. We answered lots of questions concerning people’s oral health and options in dentistry. Also, we were able to hand out a lot of toothbrushes, floss and oralpix as well as samples of teeth whitening and a drawing for two electronic toothbrushes. It would be great to see more events like this promoting personal health around the valley and we congratulate State Farm for taking the initiative.


Boise Dentists Announce Sugar Swap Winner

We would like to thank all of our participants in this years first annual Sugar Swap put on by the Boise dentists at Summit Dental! We had a great turnout, and ended up with 60 pounds of leftover Halloween candy. That’s 60 less pounds on the street! Next year we would like to continue the tradition and hopefully have even more participants and a bigger total of leftover candy.

Congratulations to Cooper, the winner of the grand prize drawing for an Ipod Touch. He was very excited to be the lucky winner and even said that he would share with his brother once in a while. Hope everyone had a great Halloween; we’re looking forward to Thanksgiving.


Boise Dentists Encourage Parents to Stress Proper Oral Hygiene Early

Parents with young children need to set a good example for daily brushing and flossing. Since little ones can’t brush and floss on their own teeth perfectly, parents should be involved in brushing and flossing until a child reaches the ages of 8 years old.

Young children learn best by watching and following their parents’ actions. They will be more likely to continue good dental hygiene if it has been set as a good habit from early on. Start encouraging your young one to participate in brushing as soon as they are comfortable holding a toothbrush.

Trust us, it will make both you and your children’s dental health much more enjoyable!


Healthy Halloween Ideas From Boise Dentists

Halloween is a spooktacular holiday the entire family can enjoy. However, as the Boise dentists from Summit Dental know, it’s also one that can bring about unwanted goblins — better known as cavities. With the proper attention, you can avoid these pesky visitors and still let your children enjoy trick-or-treating.

According to the American Dental Association, the majority of all foods – about 90 percent – contain sugars or starches that enable bacteria in dental plaque to produce acids. This attack can lead to a loss of tooth mineral and cavities. A child who licks a piece of hard candy every few minutes or sips a sugary drink is more susceptible to tooth decay because long-lasting snacks create an acid attack on teeth the entire time they are in the mouth. One approach would be to allow your ghosts and goblins to indulge in Halloween candy at mealtime instead of as a snack. Another option with Halloween candy is to allow snacking immediately after trick-or-treating, then throw out the remainder.

Or better yet, join Boise dentists from Summit Dental in the Sugar Swap! Most importantly, teach and practice good oral hygiene with your children by making sure they brush and floss every day in addition to visiting the dentist regularly.

Happy Halloween!


Stop Bad Breath With Advice From Local Boise Dentists

Have you ever noticed your co-worker consistently has bad breath?  Well, there are different reasons why some people have a foul odor associated with their mouths, and here are some ways to help prevent it.  It should also be known that some cases can be traced to genetic predisposition in addition to some of the causes listed below.

Bad Breath Causes

Before I get to the preventative tips, it’s important to understand where bad breath comes from. Bad breath, or Halitosis as it’s formally known, stems from a variety of common sources. The following are frequent causes of bad breath:

  • Certain foods such as garlic, onions, fish, meat, cheese, etc.
  • Poor general oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Fasting
  • Nasal and sinus infections
  • Throat infections
  • Faulty dental restorations
  • Periodontal disease
  • Xerostomia(dry mouth)
  • Other underlying health conditions


7 Tips for Preventing Bad Breath


Knowing the causes of bad breath can help you understand the measures you need to take to prevent it. In no particular order, here is a list of preventative measures you can take starting today to reduce the likelihood that you will have bad breath:

1) Brush & Rinse(with water) After Each Meal – Some of you may think I’m crazy for suggesting this. Sure, you may have to get creative if you don’t want to be seen brushing your teeth at work, but this is one of the best ways to ensure that food particles do not get stuck in the pockets surrounding your teeth.

2) Floss at Least Once Per Day – Flossing is equally as important as brushing. Just like recommendation number one above, flossing is intended to remove food particles from between the teeth. This will, in turn, create an unfavorable environment for bacteria growth. That’s exactly what we’re after.

3) Brush Your Tongue – The tongue carries approximately 50% of the total bacteria in your mouth. Where there’s bacteria, there’s odor. Whack this bacteria by brushing your tongue with toothpaste for at least 10 strokes. The middle 1/3 of your tongue is most prone to bacteria growth so pay special attention to that area. You may also want to try Dr. Weider’s Original Tung-Gel. This is specifically formulated for cleaning the tongue and removing bacteria.

4) Chew Sugarless Gum – Chewing sugarless gum can increase the flow of saliva and reduce the chances you’ll experience dry mouth-related bad breath. If gum isn’t your thing you can also try sugarless throat lozenges to create the same effect.

5) Drink Plenty of Water – This recommendation follows the same lines as the above suggestion. Drinking plenty of water reduces the occurrence of dry mouth by stimulating saliva production. Stick to water as alcohol and caffeinated drinks can lead to Xerostomia.

6) Swap out Your Toothbrush Every 3-4 Months An old toothbrush is a bacteria-riddled toothbrush. Gross, right? Bad breath or not this is a good tip to remember.

7) Quit Smoking – This is easier said than done, I’m sure. However, smoking causes nicotine and tar(among other nasty chemicals) to build up on the cheek walls, tongue, and teeth surfaces. It comes as no surprise that bad breath is nearly inevitable if you smoke. However, following the above tips can minimize your risk for developing bad breath.